Just back from Kathmandu and Pokara, the capital city and the 2nd biggest city in Nepal. Such a rich country, little overwhelmed at the sights, sounds, faith held by the people in this land. Nepal is sandwiched between India and China. It seems to have more Indian influence but there are people who look chinese (or Mongolians from what I understand) I was here to understand more about what it means to be a christian organization in a land that is predominantly Hindus.
The Hindu faith is something that I have not really been acquainted with. This is the first time I find myself actively trying to understand what it is about. In my work thus far, I have categorised the study of religion into 2 parts, the social processes that are necessary for the correct functioning of society, as well a the "sacred", the metaphysical that provides some meaning to this world we live in. There are certain fixed rules in this faith that helps society functions. The caste system, which presupposes the role of different groups of people helps ensure there is sufficient number of "priests, warriors, farmers etc". The Gods with their different roles, map out the dos and donts of society. The Gods with their different levels of reincarnation, provide protection/care/guidance necessary for different times.
What does it mean to be Christian in a context like that? Where being a convert means condemnation of both one's ancestors as well as one's descendants.... 7 generations up and down.. I have heard stories of people running away from home as they cannot bear the family pressures. Individuals who will not say that they are Christian, but rather someone who follows Jesus's path, as being called "Christian" brings forth unrealistic expectations that are unattainable as well as social condemnation.
On the last day, I went to a charismatic church service in Nepali. Apparently one of the oldest in Kathmandu. In a week of searching what it means to be a Child of God, why be Jesus's instead of Shiva's or Vishnu's? I hear children singing "Jesus Loves me this i know" in Nepali. A poignant moment where I know that God was speaking. He speaks of His love when others speak of fear. He speaks of a love that is in a language I may not understand, but know that the love is still meant. It is His Love that makes him superior, makes him worthy of my worship and my allegiance to him.
Love. A word that seems almost too simplistic for a long thesis on faith. A word that causes deep pain sometimes on a personal level, but yet at the same time, deep longing and hope for a happily ever after. As I ponder bout what it means, I am thankful for God's reminder that he loves me. It is this love that should motivate my actions, that will protect me from my self destructing ways, and will see me through life.
To love as Christ first loved us. To count the cost of loving, yet continue because of His gift to me. I pray for God to continue to strengthen my heart. To keep it vulnerable but yet strong enough to know that He is my portion.
Need to stop crying so much, but to smile more and reflect this love that comes from him...